PSM or CSM?

Updated: Jan 5, 2020


Are you trying to decide between a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or Professional Scrum Master (PSM) certification course? You’re not alone, it is a common question. This article focuses on demystifying the two most popular Scrum Master trainings in the world.


As one of less than 700 people in the world who has passed the Scrum.org PSM I, II and III (all with scores greater than 95), has a Scrum Alliance CSM and a CSP-SM, and a PMI-ACP, I feel like I am qualified to help you with this answer. By the way I also am a SAFe Program Consultant (SPC), and although I could teach the SAFe Scrum Master courses, I'll save that for another blog and focus in on the PSM and CSM.


Let's start with a history lesson. Ken Schwaber, the co-creator of Scrum, founded the Scrum Alliance in 2002 and created the first CSM course. Ken observed that the CSM didn’t actually mean a person was a skilled Scrum Master, so he formed Scrum.org and created the PSM in 2009, a more rigorous exam.